The average age of first-time mothers is at an all-time high in the US—over 26. The change is largely due to a big drop in teen moms, but more first births to older women also are pushing the number up, says TJ Mathews of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He's the lead author of a new report that puts the average age at 26 years, 4 months for women who had their first child in 2014. The government began tracking the age of new mothers around 1970 when the average was 21. It's been mostly climbing ever since, and spiked in about the last five years.
Overall, the average age of first-time moms has been rising in every racial and ethnic group, and in every state. Since 2000, some of the most dramatic increases were for black mothers and for moms living along the West Coast. However, the Northeast still has the highest average ages. Topping the list are Massachusetts and the District of Columbia, each at about 29, and Connecticut and New York, at or near 28. (Read more mothers stories.)